Published: Mon, July 17, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Australian Justine Damond Shot Dead by US Police in Minneapolis

Australian Justine Damond Shot Dead by US Police in Minneapolis

According to the Star Tribune, the officer who shot Damond was in the passenger seat when the officer shot and killed Damond through the driver's side door.

Forty-year-old Justine Damond, a meditation guide and coach who had been living in the USA for about three years, had called police regarding a possible assault she heard near her home in Minneapolis, the Star Tribune reported.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety said it was investigating the incident, although there appeared to be no video footage because the officers' body cameras were switched off.

"Basically my mum is dead because a police officer shot her for reasons I don't know, and I demand answers".

"I am heartsick and deeply disturbed by what happened", she posted on Facebook.

They said the BCA would be releasing further information as soon as possible.

The woman's family in Australia released a statement through the country's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, saying it's a "very hard time", according to NBC News.

He said officers arrived at the address and when it became a shooting he alerted the BCA, which now leads the investigation. "And that could have been me, that could have been you, that could have been you, that could have been any of us and we are going to make sure this doesn't happen again".

Damond is vice president and manager of Little Six Casino in Minnesota, according to Australian news media reports.

Her stepson said Damond, an Australian in her 40s, was "passionate" and his "best friend". The squad vehicle camera did not capture the incident either.

Friends and neighbours of the dead woman left signs at the vigil asking why her life was taken. "I'm so done with all this violence", he said.

Julia Reed, who has known Ms Damond for 32 years, said her friend had brought intelligence and joy to life.

The Sydney native, whose legal name is Justine Ruszczyk, was set to marry a man named Don Damond in August.

In an email message on Sunday, Damond said, "Tell people to call the police and demand answers".

Damond was a trained yoga instructor and ran a business as a meditation teacher and life coach. "But it has been made clear to me by the people I represent that they want to make certain that's how I feel".

Nearly 200 people gathered near the scene of the shooting for an evening vigil paying tribute to the dead woman.

My thoughts are now with everyone affected by this tragic incident, especially the deceased woman and her family.

"She was committed to love and the relationship that was there for her".

They also described Justine as "a lovely light" who was "so in love" with her fiance. Damond is at least the 23rd woman fatally shot by an officer this year, accounting for just over 4 percent of all fatal police shootings.

The shooting of Damond was the second consecutive Saturday that the MPD's use of force raised serious concerns.

Last month Yanez was found not guilty of manslaughter and other charges for killing Castile.

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